BOOK REVIEW: TurquoiseLLE (Colouring Book No. 7) by Tanith Lee. Kafkaesque espionage thriller.

TurquoiselleTurquoiselle by Tanith Lee

There was a British miniseries in the late 1960s called “The Prisoner,” which dealt with a Secret Agent who was mysteriously transported to a remote location, where he was subjected to sinister experiments in drug and mind control. The 7th entry in Tanith Lee’s cross-genre loosely-connected series of dark character studies, references that seminal work, adding her own distinctive vision.

More cannot be said about the plot, which occurs in contemporary London and its suburbs, save that the aloof main character Carver belongs to a shadow security corporation called Mantik Corp, and he gradually becomes aware that he is being manipulated. There are allusions to mythology, and elaborate textual puzzles made up of word and image/color repetition. Lee uses a tight third-person limited narrative style, so the reader doesn’t know more than the character. As a result, the author is messing with the reader’s mind as much as she is the characters’.

As for the genre? I’d call it a Kafka-esque esiponage thriller, but the ending is completely unexpected, both in tone and execution. You’ll just have to read it…

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